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Just Back From… Tunisia

Carthage

(photo by Joanne Wei)

When looking for Roman ruins, you might not put Africa first on your list. But Tunisia is home to Carthage, an important site for ancient Roman baths, theaters and temples (or at least what's left of them). Joanne Wei, who visited Tunisia last month on a cruise around the Mediterranean, shares her thoughts on the legendary ruins.

Overall Impression: We only had time for the Antonin baths, and I was amazed that it was basically an ancient day spa resort. The oceanfront setting was beautiful — and very windy. I expected the Carthage ruins to be in the middle of nowhere, but they were right in the suburbs.

Ruins Getting Ruined? Carthage didn't seem as well-preserved as the other ruins we saw on the trip. There was nothing to stop you from climbing all over them, and we saw kids doing just that. My favorite ruins were in Rome, the Catacombs on the Appian Way. It was fascinating to see how the Romans buried their dead, how it was uncovered years later and how extensive the underground tombs were given the lack of technology.

January and February comprise the low season for Tunisia, which generates most of its tourism from sun-seeking European package-travelers. But for those who are visiting for the culture and don't mind risking rain (the temperature will be in the 50s), low season could be a good time to find great hotel deals.

— LBW

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